While Battle Fader hasn’t seen consistent competitive play since 2016, it does see the occasional play in Domain Monarch and even Cubic decks. Of course, it still sees play in local tournaments, as well, as a card that can play many different roles.
How does Battle Fader work?
Here’s what Battle Fader does, using the latest errata:
When an opponent's monster declares a direct attack: You can Special Summon this card from your hand, then end the Battle Phase. If Summoned this way, banish it when it leaves the field.
Not only does Battle Fader negate the attack, but it ends the battle phase altogether. It also doesn’t target, so it gets around monsters that can’t be targeted with abilities or effects of cards. Unfortunately, if it leaves the battlefield in any way after being summoned this way, such as effects that would return to hand, it gets banished. This is to prevent players from simply recycling Battle Fader to continuously negate attack after attack.
However, one of the coolest things you can do with Battle Fader is to play a deck that plays Imperial Iron Wall. This continuous trap card prevents cards from being removed from play. This means that it will instead go to your graveyard or your hand, meaning you can reuse it. Iron Wall was pretty popular when this card was first released, and actually still sees play in True Draco decks in 2018.
Can Battle Fader be negated?
Let’s cover some common spells and traps that could interact with Battle Fader. One common question is how Book of Moon works against Battle Fader. Really, it doesn’t, because Battle Fader’s ability to negate the attack and end the battle phase resolves before it’s actually face-up on the field. So, Book of Moon doesn’t negate Battle Fader, only puts it face down. The same is true for Forbidden Chalice.
It’s also important to note that Skill Drain, which is an extremely popular way to shut down effect monsters, can’t stop Battle Fader’s ability. Other trap cards that miss the timing to stop Battle Fader include Breakthrough Skill and Solemn Judgment. However, Solemn Warning, which negates the Summon entirely, can prevent Battle Fader’s ability to end the Battle Phase.
Besides Solemn Warning, the best ways to stop Battle Fader are Majesty Fiend and Vanity’s Emptiness. Majesty’s Fiend stops effects no matter where they are, so Battle Fader can’t be Special Summoned from the hand at all. Vanity’s Emptiness negates any Special Summons, but as of this writing, it’s forbidden in tournament play. So, in official tournaments, Solemn Warning and Majesty’s Fiend are really the best ways to stop Battle Fader.
Which is Better? Battle Fader VS Swift Scarecrow
Swift Scarecrow is a nice little hand trap monster that gives you the same effect as Battle Fader. However, since Battle Fader is a level 1 monster that you can Special Summon and use as material or tribute fodder to Summon a better monster, Battle Fader is going to typically be the superior card.
Other Similar Cards to Battle Fader
If you’re looking for a Battle Fader alternative besides Swift Scarecrow, there are a couple of other monsters that do something similar.
There’s Speedroid Menko, which lets you Special Summon it in Attack Position when an opponent declares an attack. While it doesn’t negate the attack or end the battle phase, it does put all of your opponent’s monsters in Defense Position… except for Link Monsters, of course… So, against Links it’s pretty bad, because it’s only 100 ATK. Still it’s a cool card and it’s Level 4 and 2000 DEF.
Construction Train Signal Red can be Special Summoned by his effect when an opponent’s monster attacks. But, if you do, you change the attack target to this card and proceed to damage calculation. While he can’t be destroyed by that battle, you can still take damage. However, he can be Special Summoned in Defense Position, and he has 1000 ATK and 1400 DEF. Also, he’s a Level 3 Earth monster. So, there are some cool things you can do with him.
If you want to just stop attacks, there are the Kuriboh monsters! There’s Kuriphoton that lets you take no damage if you send it from the hand to the Graveyard, if you pay 2000 LP to do so. Of course, there’s also the old school Kuriboh cards that can negate attacks or prevent battle damage… Kuriboh only lets you not take battle damage. Winged Kuriboh lets you take no battle damage the turn that he’s sent from the field to the graveyard. But none of these guys get you a Special Summon, although there is The Flute of Summoning Kuriboh! Also, there’s the Link Monster Linkuriboh (which can actually use Battle Fader as material.)
What Decks Play Battle Fader?
Because it’s essentially a free Summon, Battle Fader makes awesome Tribute fodder in Monarch decks and is also great material for Ritual Monsters, Synchro Summons, Rank 1 Xyz Monsters, and even Link Summoning! (Linkuriboh, anyone?)
Battle Fader has seen competitive play since 2010, way back to Shonen Jump Championship Edison in Gravekeeper Burn and Quickdraw Dandywarrior. In both those decks it helped set up Synchro plays. It saw play in Frog Monarchs as Tribute fodder. Over the years, it’s seen play in Chain Burn, Chaos Dragons, Dragon Rulers, Hieratic Dragons, Mythic Rulers, and a wide variety of other Monarch decks, plus others. It’s just a really versatile card.
How would you play Battle Fader?